When Black Friday Comes
A lot has been made this year about how early retailers
have gotten started on pushing merchandise for the holidays. Many consumers
aren’t particularly happy with the practice, but retailers are looking for
any advantage that can be gained. A recent RetailWire poll found 64
percent thought there was a small to big advantage for retailers that started
promotions before Thanksgiving.
With the traditional start of the holiday selling
season, Black Friday, now one week away, it is interesting to see there are
a growing number of stores looking to gain an advantage by opening earlier
than in past years. A few will let consumers shop on Thanksgiving (Sears, Kmart,
The Gap) while others will open at the stroke of midnight (Walmart). Others
such as J.C. Penney are holding off until 4 a.m. before opening the doors.
"The rules for Black Friday have changed significantly," said Matthew
Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, in a statement. "Instead
of waiting until Thanksgiving Day to announce their promotions, many retailers
are getting shoppers excited about Black Friday by offering sneak peeks of
deals in advance, using social media to create buzz, or teasing upcoming deals
on their websites."
According to a survey conducted for the NRF by BIGresearch,
up to 138 million people plan to shop over the Black Friday weekend. That’s
four million more than did so last year.
Research by Consumer Reports found
24 percent of shoppers plan to go shopping on Black Friday while 44 percent
plan to shop over the weekend. Roughly 25 percent expect to have all their
holiday shopping by the end of the three-day shopping event.
Discussion Questions: Especially with online shopping, are you surprised
that shopping volume seems to be concentrating more during the Black Friday
weekend and not dispersing? What are the best Black Friday hours and
marketing tactics you’re seeing this year?
- Fewer Americans plan to hit stores over Black Friday weekend – Consumer
- How Long Will You Wait to do Your Holiday Shopping? – The Consumerist
- 138 Million Shoppers Expected to Hit Stores Black Friday Weekend, Up Over
2009 Estimates – National Retail Federation